One question first… Should the ‘our’ in the title of this post be capitalized? I am unsure about this case based on what I remember about capitalization rules. Then again, I pretty much failed those classes in middle school. Shocking right? I guess I could try Google for the answer but that would be too much like doing something smart and, as it has been pointed out to me recently, my intellect is questionable at best. Time to move past this diversion and get on with the show.
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I think it is clear by now how unhappy I am with what is transpiring in the Alabama’s governor race. Today I read another article about one of the candidates that blows my mind. Understand I am not surprised at what I read; I am just consistently shocked that people running for office can say things like what you are about to read and get away with it. Not only can they get away with it but they are cheered. Today’s statements come from former judge Roy Moore. If you know anything about Roy Moore and my own ideology then you probably know where this is going. If you are a right winger you may want to click away at this time. Try this site instead. You might find Jesus riding a dinosaur!
In the article on AL.com, Moore states:
“For the government to acknowledge God is not a violation of the
Constitution,” Moore said in an interview Thursday, echoing the stand he
built his career on. “To deny God is to begin to take away rights. In
the long run, the welfare of our state depends on the blessings of God.”
I included the entire paragraph because I don’t want to be accused of taking anything out of context. The section that I have the most trouble with is the second half of the last sentence even though I think the first half is bogus as well. Moore says “…the welfare of our state depends on the blessings of God.” The best question I can ask, and I would ask this of Moore, is simply “Why?”
There are a lot of ways I can go here but I am going to try and go in a direction that may be unexpected. Alabama has traditionally been one of the most religious states in the Union. I don’t think anyone would argue that it is a major component of the bible belt. Religion has been an integral part of state government really since Alabama became a state and certainly since secession and re-integration with the nation as a whole. With that being said, a couple of things should be true assuming God in the Christian sense exists (yes, I am an atheist, but stick with me here). If the Christian God is real either God has blessed Alabama or he/she/it hasn’t. I understand the nature of a blessing is really only known to God but we should be able to infer certain things about a blessing. Things like a blessing would be good for the welfare of the people or even the overall welfare of the state and not just its people. So, given the assumption that a blessing should be seen and/or felt is there any evidence of this? Well, statistically Alabama is at the bottom of the list in just about every meaningful statistic.
Here are some numbers for you:
Health Index – 41 out of 51
Child Death Rate – 6 out of 51
Deaths out of 100,000 – 5 out of 51
Diabetes per 100 adults – 1 out of 51
Bachelor’s Degree or Higher – 46 out of 51
Best Educated Index – 43 out of 51
High School Diploma or higher – 43 out of 51
Median Family Income – 43 out of 51
Percent below the poverty level – 9 out of 51
*data provided by Statemaster.com*
The list goes on and on. Clearly Alabama and it’s people have serious issues all of which have plagued the state since reconstruction.
Nothing in these numbers speaks to a blessing of any kind. At least not to me. So, if a state as religious as Alabama hasn’t been blessed up to this point, is it rational to think it will be blessed in the future? Is it also rational to assume that if God is passing out blessings that other states are more blessed than Alabama? That’s what Moore is saying right? Isn’t it more likely that Alabama is in the condition it is in today because of poor leadership, an uneducated citizenry, self serving business community, and other social ills that just haven’t been addressed? In the history of humankind have these types of problems ever been fixed by prayer? Is there ANY evidence that shows such problems magically going away? Of course not. People have to take the responsibility to lift themselves up. Therefore, why should ANYONE vote for a political candidate that believes the welfare of the state and its people depend on the blessings of God? I would think we would rather have a leader that takes responsibility for the situation and works to find ways to energize the government and the people and inspires them to fix their own problems.
It is no secret I don’t believe in god. I also don’t, as a general rule, have a problem with leaders that do. However, if a leader expresses the opinion that it is GOD who is responsible for the well being of a political division of land and the people within it then I just have to laugh. Roy Moore would be the most infective and possibly most dangerous governor Alabama could elect. I say this because he seems to indicate he would leave the welfare of the state up to God. Of course there is the whole defiance of a federal court order thing but I don’t see that we have to go over that again.
At the end of the article there is a great quote by Joel Sogol, former chairman of the ACLU:
“Other than this one issue, it’s hard to figure out where he stands,”
Sogol said. “I don’t think anybody has a clue where this state would be
going if he gets elected. I don’t think he does.”
Roy Moore only cares about one thing and that is shoving God down everyone’s throats. There is nothing illegal about this and he as every right to say what he wants, a right I would defend, but as a governor there is little doubt in my mind he would be worthless. He has shown that he can not be an impartial judge which leads me to believe he would not be a fair and equitable governor who would seek to defend the rights of ALL citizens of the state of Alabama. He has shown he doesn’t respect the rule of law and that his own personal convictions are justification enough to act outside of his legal rights. Finally, he has shown no ability to understand the generally needs of the state nor given voice to any vision on how he would better the state other than leave it in the hands of God. I would rather have a leader that would try to help his constituency first and pray for a miracle second. If God decided to lend a hand then GREAT but past human history has shown that people who help themselves are more likely to make a difference in their own lives and the people around them.
Between Tim James and Roy Moore I fear for this state. I don’t think they will win the primary much less the election but the possibility exists. If such a disaster were to happen I feel I would be obligated by duty to my family to pursue opportunities in other states. I should have already been working on that given the sorry condition Alabama is in today but certainly the election of either of these two nitwits would make the exodus imperative that much more compelling.
Finally, let me be clear about a few things. I don’t want to live in a theocracy and my understanding is that the Constitution of the United States does not allow for a theocracy to exist at any level of government. I have no problems with a leader that is religious. I am happy to vote for religious candidates. As a public servant, however, it is their duty to govern based on man’s law and if they can not do that then they are unfit for their position. As soon as they begin making decisions based on religious beliefs while flaunting the rule of law then they are in violation of their charge and are unfit for their position. This is the reasoning that led to Roy Moore being removed as a judge and this is the same reason why he is unfit to be Alabama’s governor.
Ultimately though you have to ask one thing… Are you willing to wait for the
blessing of God to give your children a better education, better health,
and a better life or do you think it is in your best interest to vote
for someone who will actually take action themselves? The choice is
really up to you.
Personally, I am keeping an eye on snagging some
cardboard boxes from the liquor store down the street…just in case.